Thomas L. Long, age 76, of Middleton, passed away peacefully on Friday, January 20, 2023, in his home surrounded by his family. His courageous battle with cancer was long and hard-fought and showed everyone around him the true definition of strength.
Tom was born on August 7, 1946, in Duluth, MN, the son of Joel and Gladys Long. He married his high school sweetheart, Mary Smolnikar, on July 13, 1968, in Duluth.
Upon graduating from high school, he joined the Army National Guard and was honorably discharged due to a medical condition. That same year he entered the insurance business, and in 1981, he founded Wisconsin Insurance World. In 2001 his company merged with a Chicago firm and formed LTIC Partners, where he was CEO until his retirement. Tom made a deep and lasting mark in the insurance industry and on everyone with whom he crossed paths in his 50-year career. Tom was also a dedicated lieutenant with the Fitchburg Volunteer Fire Department for 25 years.
Tom and Mary traveled the world, visiting Slovenia, Hawaii, Italy, and Germany, and went on an African safari — just to name a few of their adventures. Together they enjoyed golf, building houses, and enjoying a fine bottle of wine. His grandsons allowed him to remain the big kid he loved to be — especially at Christmas. Together each year, they watched The Polar Express — at full volume! — wrote letters to Santa, left cookies and milk on the mantle, and toasted the New Year with “mud in your eye.” He loved traditions and strived to ensure his daughters and grandsons were prepared to carry on those traditions in his absence.
Tom’s heart was huge, and he was overflowing with compassion and generosity. He could brighten anyone's day with his huge smile and booming “hello” He made every person he met feel like they were the most important person in the room.
Tom was a devoted and loving husband, father, and grandfather. He is survived by his wife Mary, daughters Traci Parker and Michele Long, grandsons Benjamin and Thomas Parker, son-in-law Wil Parker, his brother Bob, and sisters Caron, Charon, and Barbara, along with several nieces and nephews, and many dear friends. For Tom, there was no such thing as extended family — he considered all to be part of his immediate family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Pat and his brother Donald.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 28, 2023 at St. Peter Catholic Parish, 7121 County Trunk K. Middleton, WI 53562, with visitation from 9:30 a.m. until the time of Mass at the church.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Carbone Cancer Center at the University of Wisconsin - Madison 600 Highland Ave. Madison, WI 53705, or the Knights of Columbus, 2625 Military Rd. Cross Plains, WI 53528
Please share your memories at www.cressfuneralservice.com
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